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A Prescription for Pharmaceutical Financial Health

Jeffrey Kraws, managing director and pharmaceutical analyst for Gruntal & Co., is recognized as one of the top pharmaceutical stock picking analysts in the field. In his second year presenting to the PMCQ members, he delivered a clear and well-articulated message. “Although last year’s market was treacherous with wild gyrations forcing stock prices to spin lower and lower, the future continues to look bright for Pharma.”

The presentation was fast paced and humorous keeping the participants amused as they were scribbling frantically in fear of missing out on an important stock pick for the coming year.

Among the large cap pharmaceutical companies, Kraws picked Pfizer as the number one stock to hold. He said, “Pfizer is a strong stock that is currently under valued.” He also predicted that the recent venture with Pharmacia would increase Pfizer’s strength.

Kraws also recommended other large cap pharma companies, including, J & J, a company that managed expectations well in the past year and Merck, due to their commitment to research and development and their continued endeavors to associate with Biotech companies.

Among the smaller players, Kraws predicted growth for; Women’s First Healthcare (Nasdaq: WFHC) and King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:KG). In the ‘swing on the fence, high risk-high gain’ category, Cardima (Nasdaq: CRDM), Sono Site (Nasdaq: SONO), Eresearch Technology (Nasdaq: ERES), Cardio Dynamics (Nasdaq: CDIC) and PharmaNetics (Nasdaq: PHAR) were the chosen few. Among generics, Kraws named, IVAX (AMEX: IVX), Mylan (NYSE: MYL) and BARR Laboratories (NYSE: BRL) as the top three companies to hold.

Kraws also included one Canadian company in his top picks, Aeterna (TSE: AEL). “It showed the best clinical results in SLCC,” said Kraws. The product is scheduled to come out 1st or 2nd quarter of 2003.

Although not included in his top picks, Kraws offered information on a few other large pharma companies. He said the bad news for BMS is behind them and the company is positioned to do very well. Wyeth and Lilly are viable stocks and Novartis is a steady company with good earnings.

Kraws did not mince his words when he addressed the future health of the pharmaceutical industry. “R&D must work ‘hand-in-hand with Marketing,” he said. “It is important to maintain commitment to the future (R&D investment), those that don’t, won’t make it.”

Jeffrey Kraws graciously offered to provide PMCQ members with a monthly update on the top five stock picks of the month. This information will be posted on the PMCQ website for all members to view.

Niki Tsakonas
Consultation 3P Consulting Inc.

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Have a great summer and see you in September.